Can you believe it has been nearly 5 full months since we last wrote a proper update? And WOW! What a 5 months it has been. Some days I have to remind myself that we are supposed to be building a house. Period. I mean, that is what the r(E)volution is all about, right?
I am quickly reminded of a quote from Possum Living by Dolly Freed.
Why is it people assume one must be a hippie, or live in some dreary wilderness, or be a folksy, hard-working, back-to-nature, soybean and yogurt freak….”
And that is all I remember of that. The book, written as a guide to living without a job and on next to no income is a great one, no doubt. But it isn’t our story. That line just resonates with me though as the last five months I think we have officially heard it all. We have been asked if we are hippies, if we buy granola in bulk, if we want to drop out of society, how we feel about politics, how we are going to raise children, why a ‘tiny house’, and the list goes on. Truth is, we are all sorts of things. But alas, I will withhold the labels. What I want to talk about is all the adventures we have taken in the past five months. (pssst….I’ll do a bullet list so I don’t get obnoxious)
- Finished clearing, discing, removing debris, adding soil, discing again, and cultivating just at 1/3 an acre; our homestead.
- Burned nearly 3 cords of junk wood, scrap wood, and natural debris.
- Raised and harvested nearly 600 pounds of food including lettuce, spinach, carrots, potatoes, tomatoes, cucumber, squash, zuchini, watermelon, and more!
- Canned and otherwise preserved nearly 65 quarts of food (thus far).
- Returned our originally purchased windows in lieu of new selections.
- Purchased eco-friendly insulation.
- Expanded our laying hens to 16. Harvested two flocks of 12 each for meat chickens.
- Purchased a cube freezer for meat and vegetable preservation.
- Poured the slab of fibre-enriched concrete that will be the support pad for our tiny house.
- Built a 32 square foot storage “closet”.
- Became a “How-To” guest blogger on tinyhouseblog.com.
- Got removed from the roster of my local garden club for being too progressive in my mantra of “I don’t garden. I grow food!”
- Began writing a manuscript for an eventual book on tiny home building in the micro-farming, sustainable, lifestyle.
- And perhaps, most important, enjoyed each moment of watching my wife carry our soon-to-be-born daughter.
Fall is almost upon us. Summer is at its most unbearable, at least. Projects are becoming less motivated as the days are long and hot. Our gardens are slowly dying off and we are making plans for our fall/winter crops. We are anticipating the external build of our tiny house for January 2012. We are scheduled to appear on two different alternative living panels as well as begin working with a documentary crew regarding tiny houses. Our focus is greater than ever but with a baby on the way in just a few weeks we know that our r(E)volution will become even more robust with the Tiniest r(E)volution’s involvement.
My concern is how to manage time that seems to be pretty sparse as it is. Perhaps you have that problem as well. If so, here are some tips I came up with to help manage your time and make the most of each minute.
Learn to say no. I have had the hardest time with this my entire life. For whatever reason my sense of obligation is quite high. If someone asks, I will go out of my way (even at the expense of myself or my time with my family) to assist them. Learning to say no can be incredibly difficult. But it is sure to offer you both time and energy for doing things that really matter. Learn to scale back your unimportant, unnecessary, and unfulfilling activities. No one wants to wake up one day and ask themselves where their life has gone. We should live each day for what it is – just one day!
Ask for help. Most men are born with an overflowing pride gene. We find it hard to relinquish control. But we can’t do that any longer. We must learn to give up control and focus on our strengths while allowing others to focus on theirs. When trying to maximize time in a minimalist fashion it is essential to learn how to delegate. You don’t have to be the martyr that does all the grocery shopping, errand running, homework tutoring, home maintenance, etc, all on your own. Rally the troops! Invite your best friend, your spouse, or your family to lend a hand.
Don’t be so hard on yourself. We are all going to fail. We are all going to fall short. Many of us will end the day with unfinished projects. It is not the end of the world though. We each need to learn to not be so hard on ourselves. Perfection is ridiculous. If we were perfect there would be no lessons to learn in life. The more you expect from yourself and others, the more you are allowing frustration and disappointment to potentially enter your life.
Did I miss an essential tip? What do you do to maximize your time? As always, if you enjoy this post or want to share the r(E)volution with your friends and family, click on one of the social networking buttons at the bottom of this post!